Evolution via Headshot










modeling agencies require an unedited image

After doing a few fashion shows for some local designers, Brandon was encouraged to seek a talent agent that could get him more modeling opportunities. The agencies asked for a digital photo without editing, make-up or facial expressions.

I remember taking the car cover off of my mother’s minivan and tacking it up to the dining room wall. I asked my mom to snap a picture with a digital camera I had. I was nervous about sending it in because it looked like a mug shot, but when Element Model Management received it, I was invited to the office to sign a contract.


This image would start Brandon’s professional journey. The world would get to know him through magazines and runways, but the depths of the man would soon be explored in ways he never dreamed. 










first pro shots

A Model trying to act

After a few years of professional modeling, BDG was encouraged to get into the acting game if he wanted longevity. Fortunately, the photographer who shot his Vibe Magazine editorial was kind enough to throw in some acting headshots to help Brandon transition. 

Mr. Gregory used these headshots to get on a movie set for the first time. He was a background extra on the movie Fast 5.

I honestly hated the way the extras were treated on set and I also felt I should be doing more than just pantomiming and walking back in forth behind Vin Diesel.



Brandon also used these headshots to land his first stand-in jobs with Tyler Perry Studios and BET.

I loved being a stand-in. I was eating as much as I wanted all day, everyday. I was getting first hand experience on etiquette and how to navigate the fast-paced, complex set environment. I was picking the actor’s brains for advice and technique. On top of that, I was getting paid. It was incredible. The cherry-on-top? I got to practice what I learned every day in front of professional writers, directors, and producers while the stars were off getting their hair and make-up done. It’s actually how I got my first role.


It’s also how Brandon landed his second role, his first agent, and then his first movie. But this quick success was not satisfying enough. Something deep within told BDG he needed a new look. 



















Let’s try this again

more actor, less model shots

Brandon decided to show casting directors that he was versatile and not just a pretty face, so he grew his hair out and took more headshots. He remembers walking into his next audition and being told,

Cut your hair or you won’t work in this city again.

-Unnamed Atlanta Casting Director

It sounded like a line from a movie, and one that obviously wouldn’t star Brandon. He felt they were being close-minded and ignoring his interests as an artist. And turns out, that CD was right; well sort of. Stubborn Brandon never worked on any more of their projects and he knew it was because of his bold choice. 

The next gig that Brandon booked was on the premium cable channel Showtime and he felt this was a sign things were about to change. It was a show called Homeland and though he had never seen it, he knew it was a big time show. So big that they paid for Brandon to go to North Carolina and shoot for a few days in Charlotte. It was a small role but still one that BDG cherishes to this day.

I remember being on set and it was so easy. There was no yelling or fast movements. It was smooth, calm, and felt like everyone knew exactly what they should be doing. I remember the director walked on set to talk me through the scene and it felt like a Sunday morning. It was a great feeling and I needed to be on more sets like that.


Brandon had found a new market and a new audience.  

third time’s a charm

new audience Shots

The easy set in Charlotte helped BDG see he wanted a career that would reflect the same feeling. Again, he took new headshots but these were going to be… easy.

I wanted a look that was not only easy on the eyes, but also easy for me to maintain. Cutting my own hair had its limitations but the money I have saved and the convenience of not waiting around on a barber for every audition is a plus. I decided on the 5 o’clock shadow with a little hair on top.


This headshot, on this new part of Brandon’s journey, is what he submitted when he booked his second major network role on an ABC show called Resurrection starring Omar Epps. This set felt easy too. The director and cast were wonderful.

I overheard some of the season-regular actors talking about training they had and mentioned the acronym MFA. I looked it up when I got home and was convinced that to feel confident and easy on set (and especially in audition rooms)I needed to put my short career on pause and invest my energy into some formal training.


Brandon asked around the industry and started researching top acting schools. He focused his efforts on applying and auditioning for four schools. Brandon was called back for three out of those four. Later, Brandon was offered scholarships to earn a Masters of Fine Arts from The Guildhall School in London, and The Pennsylvania State University. The choice was a difficult one that came down to money and potential connections for his long-term career goals. 
































Okay, Maybe four times

Tying image to brand

The Journey continued when Brandon was offered a full scholarship to Penn State including a stipend that would cover housing and expenses. He took these headshots at school to represent a brand new Mr. Brandon Gregory.

My first year was incredibly tough for me because it was my first time living outside of Atlanta, GA or spending any significant period of time outside of the South. I found out the isolation was all a huge part of my personal journey as well as professionally. Time away from old friends and family members gave me a chance to focus on the real me and the dream I was pursuing. The rigorous training asked me to dive deep into story, characters, and humanity and that exploration allowed me to ask some questions about myself and for the first time, answer them honestly.


The more than ten thousand hours of isolation, training, and invaluable experiences in graduate school helped Brandon get to know himself. This self-knowledge led to him better understanding how the world saw him too. Professionally, Brandon wanted to be on big stages and screens and he realized he was going to start being more strategic to do so.


Current shots

Going all in

During his final semester at Penn State, Brandon was on the verge of a breakthrough. Or a breakdown. It was hard to tell. He was more confident than ever but he was also in uncharted territory. While preparing for reentry into the world, Brandon was opening up to friends and family again but still felt alone. 

I had new and familiar loved ones all around me but I also didn’t know who to trust. I would lash out at those close to me because every step I took on my own, it felt like they were abandoning me.


Brandon had a huge disagreement with a mentor and believed he would be asked to leave the program for insubordination. But his newfound openness and desire to succeed urged him to continue to seek knowledge. Mr. Gregory went to other leaders around in the program to gain more perspective and was given the advice that it was time to continue forward on his own. Not leaving the program but living life without the expectation that others were at all responsible for Brandon’s journey.

Some people fit into roles that were written perfectly for them. Maybe the result you are looking for hasn’t been written yet. Maybe you have to write your own story.

-Unnamed Penn State Professor

It was so simple but it wasn’t easy for Brandon to recognize his dependency on others. He let that invaluable wisdom soak in and took immediate action. He adjusted his way of seeing the world to take a more active approach in his life and career. Brandon worried less about the right outcome from his choices and became ready to learn, regardless of the result, and use the acquired knowledge to move forward.


A shift in mindset results in…you guessed it; new headshots. Brandon decided to invest a hefty sum of money for a headshot photographer in NYC that he thought could help relay a message to the storytelling world.

I know who I am. I love who I am. And I am determined to put all of me into the stories I tell.


These headshots helped Brandon land two top talent agencies and a manager in New York City, right out of grad school. He went on to do a musical in Harlem, lots of regional and national commercials, and also built and toured a regional play that made it all the way to Broadway.

I have learned so much about myself and the world and I feel I have only scratched the surface. I’m still writing my story everyday and my plan for the rest of the journey is only to love more and learn more. Only God knows where my passion will take me next. More and more.